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Cosme McMoon was born on February 21, 1901 in Mapimi, Durango Mexico as Cosme McMunn. His parents were Cosme McMunn, and Maria Valadez. His Father (also named Cosme) was also born in Mexico of Irish immigrant parents Daniel McMunn, and Mary MacDowell (Cosme's Grandparents on his fathers side).

The McMunn family lived in Mapimi, Durango, Mexico from 1853 until 1911 when they were forced out of Mexico during the Mexican revolution. The family resetteled in San Antonio, Texas with relatives, and the descendants live there until this day.

Cosme was a child prodigy, and he was given his first musical instruction from his Fathers niece. He would later study with piano master in New York City, and Europe.

Cosme McMunn completed High school at Main Avenue Academy (now known as Fox Tech High School) around 1918. About 1920 Cosme decided to further his career by moving to New York city to study with some of the great masters of the day. It was at this time in his life when he changed his name to Cosme McMoon. He did not return to San Antonio again until the 1950's when he came to visit his mother and brothers who were still living there. From then on he would visit family almost annually until his passing in 1980.

Why the name McMoon? In Mexico Spanish speakers pronounce the family name with the U sounding like the double OO sound as in "book" or "look". Even upon arrival in San Antonio the relatives here were Spanish speakers and pronounced it the same way as was heard in Mexico. Cosme decided it would be easier to change his name to McMoon so that he would not have to explain the difference in pronunciation versus the written form to his American friends. Cosme said that it was a good unique name and decided to use it as his professional name. That is the explaination in his own words.

He supported himself throughout the years in New York by peforming, teaching and writing music. His most well known performance was as the accompanist to Florence Foster Jenkins, with the most famous, and remembered performance occurring in the early 1940's. You can find out more information about this performance by contacting Carnegie Hall.

For the remainder of his life he continued to perform, teach, and write music. After the mid-1950's he would annually drive across country from New York to California to visit his youngest brother Jim McMunn, and his wife in California, but would first stop in San Antonio to visit his mother, brother and nephew in San Antonio.

It is well known that Cosme McMoon was an amateur body builder,and he was still working out well into his 60's. At Christmas time 1968 while visiting his nephew William McMunn Cosme created great fun for his 8 yar old Grand nephew Mark McMunn (Williams Son) by lifting him up and down over his head like a weight much to the delight of his Grand nephew. Cosme was 67 years old at the time.

Cosme's body building interest led to meetings with well known body builders of the time. There is a well circulated photo of Cosme being lifted by two very well known body builders. According to Cosme the photo is from a competition at which he was a judge.

What people do not know about Cosme is that he was a Master Chess player, and e was fascinated by mathematics, and spent many an hour teaching his Grand Nephews and Nieces how to play Chess and master mathematics. Also, in his late years he enjoyed going to the Meadowlands to bet on the harness races from which he made a modest yet regular income.

He lived very quietly, and modestly, and was very independent even to his last days. He became ill with pancreatic cancer in the summer of 1980. It was a neighbor of Cosme's that contacted his family in San Antonio that Cosme was ill. Cosme's nephew William McMunn went to New York from San Antonio to arrange to bring Cosme to San Antonio. Also, Jim McMunn (Cosme's youngest sibling and only surviving sibling at the time) flew into New York from Los Angels to assist his nephew William McMunn to admit Cosme into St. Luke's hospital in New York City. Cosme was brought back to San Antonio in August 1980, and lived for two more days before passing away. As Cosme requested his remains were cremated, and his ashes are resting at Sunset Memorial park in San Antonio.

This information was posted by Mark McMunn the Grand Nephew of Cosme McMunn who reside in San Antonio , Texas.

December 25th 2008

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Q: What happened to cosme mcmoon after florence foster jenkins died?
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